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Old 07-27-2009, 09:36 AM
Location: Fairfax
2,880 posts, read 6,177,884 times
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Originally Posted by OldReliable View Post
decafdave, what is KTV? I speak zero chinese and so will be sticking close to any escort personel that the company provides. I don't drink or party, so no worries there. I just want to go, make some money and get back home with as little fuss as possible.

I have heard that tipping is taboo except in major cities. Is this true?
Fair enough. I came over knowing about hardly any Chinese myself but I can honestly say that I can get around pretty well on my own now. If you don't party than you'll have more time (and hangover-free saturdays) to try and learn the language.

KTV is karaoke. The continental pastime of Asia. It's not the type in america where people get up on a stage in some bar and make a fool of themselves. They have these private rooms that you can reserve for a period of time so it is just a get together among friends. Food and drinks are usually involved and brought to the room. Your Chinese coworkers will likely invite you to this-I don't really enjoy it that much but it's worth it for the cultural experience.

Tipping isn't done anywhere in China including the major cities. If you go to a nice restaurant there may be service included though in the bill. They are paid a livable wage here unlike in the states.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:52 AM
165 posts, read 528,645 times
Reputation: 189
I live and work in Hangzhou in Zhejiang, the province east of Jiangxi.

Don't drink the water without boiling it first. A rare occasional glass of water wont kill you however. It is advisable to wash your fruit before eating it. Concerning food, I honestly dislike a lot of the local food, but there are things that I do like, and there will be enough of that to keep you going. More than likely, the only western food you will find is a KFC. KFC makes good coffee, however, they only have 1/2 of the foods that they have in the USA.

What frustrates the hell out of me in China is how the Chinese do not have any concept of planning. They are horrible with scheduling. They will ask you to do something at the very last minute. Also, be warned that a Chinese boss is not going to listen to you, and giving input is a waste of time. The Chinese are more of a singular mind, they do things one way and that is that. They all speak the same stilted English. They all have the same opinions, like the same things. It is one probes deeper and develops a relationship with a Chinese, that one gets to know someone. This is called "guanxi" which is basically, I'll scratch your back if you suck my testicles with your warm mouth and tickly tounge.

I have always found the Chinese to be by and large, very pleasant people and I have a Chinese wife I love very much. However, they are also very annoying. They talk loudly on their telephones. Matter of fact, everything that Chinese do has to be loud. For instance, it is not uncommon for one to hear fireworks early on a Sunday morning. They are impatient about everything, which includes standing and breaking in lines. When they do reach the front of the queue, they take their sweet ass time like there isnt a hundred people behind you. Inconsideration abounds here. They will never admit when they are wrong. They will sometimes pull this "This is China," "We have been doing this for the past 5,000 years" or anything else to deflect the fact that sometimes they are dumbasses.

Chinese are also very strange. It is hard to explain to you their strangeness without seeing it first hand. Their logic mostly is upside down and sideways. They are industrious and lazy at the same time. They will save your life while not caring if you lived or died.

Since you will be somewhat in a rural province, you may get a lot of people staring at you and calling out "Laowei Laowei" which means foreigner. Hangzhou is a modern city, but I would not mind going to a rural place. I have only been in Jiangxi one time but I thought it was a beautiful province. I think being in the "backcountry" is the best way to see a place anyway.

Chinese men like to drink, so you may be invited to banquets and whatnot. Banquets mainly consisting of 10 or more people sitting around a round table with a "lazy susan". The men will offer you cigarettes and more importantly, alcoholic drinks, usually beer or wine. There are other liquors available, including Baijiu, a clear rice liquor that smells like paint thinner and more than likely has also the same taste. Then there is Huangjiu, or yellow wine. Or Chinese brandy.

The men will play this, in my opinion, annoying game called "Ganbei!" which means Cheers! Bottoms up, that sort of thing. I consider it binge drinking. I like drinking and smoking, but if its not your thing, you may feel left out of the loop. However, not all people booze it up, and the Chinese set certain limits about drinking, which is basically, dont show your ass and you will be fine.

KTV is a Karoake place with many rooms consisting of a large screen, a computer, microphones, with couches and glass tables. Many of the KTV's offer young, beautiful female staff to be one's companion if you wish. They will roll them in line in front of you. The music is screamingly loud, but not so bad. I, for the most part have enjoyed my time there. Be forewarned, the Chinese like to mix wine with Sprite. Sickly sweet and will give you a wicked hangover.

I can write for hours since I have been here for over eight years.

Chinese mix wine with Sprite.
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:28 AM
Location: Montana
15 posts, read 25,435 times
Reputation: 15
Great info everyone, thanks so much for taking the time to reply. Regarding the water, I have a microfilter pump that I use when hunting and backpacking here in Montana. I would think that that would be sufficient for water purification? Filters Giardia, bacteria, Cryptosporidium, etc.

As far as the food is concerned, I could stand to lose some weight anyway. What I am most interested in is what to avoid, don't want to get dysentery.
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:09 PM
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,956,847 times
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Boil it. You'll need a lot of water to dilute the high-proof alchol favored at dinner (and rice doesn't hurt the absorbtion process either--but if your host is showing off, you won't get rice; just craploads of meat and fish dishes) and your filter may run out of room. Actually, for drinking I'd go with bottled water, you're going to be there long enough you need to worry about heavy metal buildup in your system. So boil some to wash your fruit and keep a liter or two on hand.

Eat hotpot. Taiwan boba tea (with ice) is ordered thusly: "Boba Bing Cha she-shea (xie xie)" It can double as breakfast in a pinch as it's something like a billion calories an ounce. I prefer it with chocolate, but that might be an esotheric enough taste you can't find it out there. Add "Chocolee" to your request and see what happens.

More later.

Don't eat stinky tofu. Or at least don't take more than a morsel at first.

Carry LOTS of immodium unless you want to experiment with weird herbal (or maybe just poison) Chinese analogues. You will need it no matter what. Even if it's not carrying bugs, spicy hotpot will clean you out.
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:30 PM
2,449 posts, read 4,821,535 times
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I would have to counter a previous post and say to stay open-minded with the food. I loved th food in China. I've been to China a few times, one of which was in western Hunan for a year. I probably wouldn't like the food in JiangXi as much since I like it very spicy, but everyone's palate is different. It depends on each individual and each location though, everyone has different tastes and Chinese food can be incredibly diverse from place to place. Much like American food can mean Cajun, Maryland crabcakes, bbq'd ribs, Salmon and avocado salad, pasta, burritos, Chinese lemon chicken, etc...
Personally, if I had to choose one whole nation's cuisine to live of my entire life, I would choose Chinese simply because of the diversity.
Also, there is no need to shelter yourself. Don't be afraid, its a pretty safe country. There are pickpockets and such, but Italy's worse than much of China on that end. And as long as you have your hep shots you probably won't have any major sickness. If you have time, learn some conversational Chinese. Even if you don't get very far, the effort will be much appreciated.
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:04 PM
1,269 posts, read 3,422,705 times
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Originally Posted by OldReliable View Post
I will be traveling to China to work on a consulting contract, training Chinese workers on US made CNC machining centers. China is a new destination for me. I have read all the usual "don't drink the water" warnings. Will be in Xinyu, Jiangxi Province. Please educate me if you have had a similar work assignment or foreign worker experience in China.

Generally the workers there are a disciplined lot. They are less likely to ask questions and would rather hint at something else rather than pointing out local conditions or your error.
A good manual and well translated crystal clear instruction clear up most frustrations.

Granted Jiangxi is one of the poorer provinces compared to the opulent coastal cities, it isn't as backward as someone here described it. Hope the following info are helpful to prepare you for your awful assignment ahead.

Beginning early this year, spitting in public places is now prohibited and can land the violators a fine of 3 yuan to 1000 yuan. Other behaviors considered uncivilized and enforceable with fines are urinating and defecating in public places, littering. No hanging out clothes to dry on the balcony that is visible from the major roads.

Xinyu is a town newly industrialized

Local specialty produce:
Xinyu Tangerine
Yellow Flower Peach
Jiangxi Songyang Wine
[including Song Jiu Wang, Song Chun, Song Jiu, Song Qu and Qi Jiu, etc.

In 1992 it won a gold medal in the international exposition held in Paris.]

Fenyi Linen
White fish of Fairy Lake
Hubo Grape
Xianlong ham

Photo galleries of Xinyu’s infrastructure and day-to-day life

rural 3-year & 5-year plans

Environmental, safety programs

Museum & ancient history

Domestic consumer market, lifestyle

Xinyu’s College

places of interests include:

Cave of Devine Bull

old houses built in 1805

Stone-hug garden

Sport complex

River marshland park 30,000 acres

Beihu garden

Xienlai lake

100 flowers lake

Buddhist temple

Fairy Lake

more photos from Xinyu on ‘google’

Last edited by dougie86; 07-27-2009 at 05:17 PM..
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:39 AM
1,269 posts, read 3,422,705 times
Reputation: 797
5-9 weeks is bearable
besides you are there in the capacity of a consultant so there are layers above and below
imho if China buys more US products and services, more and more US experts will be heading that way can't be help

there are worst scenarios in oil/gas/reservoir engineering where expats live for weeks on offshore rigs and power/utilities teams slogging out in Guansu and the Gobi
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:41 AM
663 posts, read 590,447 times
Reputation: 728
Yeah, spitting is against the law in China in some parts, but have you ever seen a cop try to enforce it? haha.........They would laugh if a cop tried to give them a ticket.

I agree with just about everything everyone has said, esp from Senor Boogie......He's in the same boat as me, with a Chinese wife and living here for over 8 years.......

The one thing you need to be prepared for I think is the night life. As you don't drink, you will be pressured into drinking. You will also be pressured into taking a *****, esp at a KTV, if its that kind of KTV and your work guys are those kind of guys.........

As decafeDave (who I think I know who you are....haha) said, everyone parties differently in China, but in Shanghai most foreigners party hard. And its very different from the States...........

If I we're you, be polite, but set the tone. Let them know you don't drink. They will think your boring, and you might not make friends with them, but who cares.....your only there for 8 weeks or so.............travel around China, Try the food, and most of all, enjoy the experience.........

Good luck man........
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:42 AM
663 posts, read 590,447 times
Reputation: 728
Pressured into taking a prositute...........They edited my first name........lol
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:04 AM
Location: Montana
15 posts, read 25,435 times
Reputation: 15
I'm not worried about making friends and taking up drinking on such a short stay in China. If I can avoid alchohol for half a century I guess 8 weeks is a small thing! My grandfather was THE TOWN DRUNK in the small farm town where my dad grew up. One of my only memories of him was at a table covered in empty whiskey bottles, and of him staggering home with a bottle in a brown paper sack. I will NOT become that person.

I am also blissfully married to the most wonderful woman in the world and cheating on her is inconcievable to me. The bottom line is that I will probably attend one of these KTV shindigs just to see what it is and then politely decline further invites. Avoiding the situation is the first step to avoiding the behavior.

Thanks for all the links dougie, that took a lot of time. I've hit about half of them, but they are in chinese, so I just look at the pictures

We arrive in country on Wednesday next. My business partner knows someone who is working there, so we will have someone to show us the ropes. I won't have time for traveling, the workweek is 6 10 hr days with the usual 2 hr "nap". That is going to be weird. What do they do for 2 hours? I can hardly take a 1/2 hour break before I want to get back to work.
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